Extracted from the October 19, 2014 Market Update
Is The U.S.A Still A Super Power? This can no longer be considered a silly question, for when one looks at the facts, one is forced to review all the data the government is pushing down our throats. In fact, we argue that the U.S.A is not a super power. It is a third world country in many aspects, with exception that it has some very big guns.
The dodos in the government often broadcast the above statement, but when one takes the time to examine some simple data, one is left wondering if these guys are on LSD or something even stronger. You be the judge
A record 20% of Households need Food stamps.
Now roughly 48 million individuals are on Food stamps. Keep in mind these are 2013 figures. The number has surged 42% from 2009. Wait a minute; was that not the year the markets bottomed and are we not in the middle of bull market and aren’t things supposed to be significantly better today? So what gives? Could the government be lying? No that is simply not possible; not this government that cares so much for the welfare of its people.
We are going to let a few selected quotes do the talking. Any comments we make will be highlighted in blue text
- In 2013, the official poverty rate was 14.5 percent, down from 15.0 percent in 2012. This was the first decrease in the poverty rate since 2006.
- In 2013, there were 45.3 million people in poverty. For the third consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the national level was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimate.
- The 2013 poverty rate was 2.0 percentage points higher than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.
- The poverty rate for children under 18 fell from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013. 1
- The poverty rate for people aged 18 to 64 was 13.6 percent, while the rate for people aged 65 and older was 9.5 percent. Neither of these poverty rates were statistically different from their 2012 estimates.
- Both the poverty rate and the number in poverty decreased for Hispanics in 2013.
- Despite the decline in the national poverty rate, the 2013 regional poverty rates were not statistically different from the 2012 rates. This is the statement to focus on
Since unrelated individuals under 15 are excluded from the poverty universe, there are 430,000 fewer children in the poverty universe than in the total civilian noninstitutionalized population. http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/record-20-households-food-stamps-2013
For example, poverty is up by almost 16 percent in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Up more than 27 percent in the suburbs of providence. Nearly 79 percent outside Seattle. And in the suburbs of Austin, Texas, the number of poor has swollen almost 143 percent. More poor people now live in America’s suburbs than in cities or in rural areas. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nation-jan-june14-povertysuburb_01-11/
14.5% of all Americans or 45 million live below the poverty line
Income levels dropping
American incomes declined more in the three-year expansion that started in June 2009 than during the longest recession since the Great Depression, according an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Sentier Research LLC.
Median household income fell 4.8 percent on an inflation adjusted basis since the recession ended in June 2009, more than the 2.6 percent drop during the 18-month contraction, the research firm’s Gordon Green and John Coder wrote in a report today. Household income is 7.2 percent below the December 2007 level, the former Census Bureau economic statisticians wrote. “Almost every group is worse off than it was three years ago, and some groups had very large declines in income,” Green, who previously directed work on the Census Bureau’s income and poverty statistics program, said in a phone interview today. “We’re in an unprecedented period of economic stagnation.”
While gains in hourly earnings and average hours worked per week may have had “a minor mitigating effect” on income declines, they couldn’t offset a jobless rate that hasn’t fallen below 8 percent since February 2009 and a record duration of unemployment, according to the Annapolis, Maryland-based firm. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-23/u-s-incomes-feel-more-in-recovery-sentier-says.html
A super power should have super infrastructure right
- 1 in 9 of the country’s bridges is rated as structurally deficient, meaning they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation, or replacement.
- Of the 84,000 dams in the U.S., 14,000 are considered “high hazard” and 4,000 are deficient. It would cost $21 billion to repair these aging dams.
- 42% of the country’s major urban highways are considered congested, and 32% of major roads in the U.S. are in poor or mediocre condition.
- Even though a third of Americans don’t drive cars, 45% of households lack access to transit.
- There are 240,000 water main breaks in the U.S. each year, and many water mains and pipes are over 100 years old.
- The Federal Aviation Administration anticipates that the national cost of airport congestion and delays will nearly double from $34 billion in 2020 to $63 billion in 2040.
- 90% of locks and dams experienced an unscheduled delay or service interruption in 2009. Barges being stopped for hours can prolong transport of goods and drive up prices.
- Congestion on rail lines is costing the U.S. economy about $200 billion a year, or 1.6% of economic output. http://www.businessinsider.com/10-signs-that-us-infrastructure-is-a-disaster-2013-7?IR=T&
How is it possible that this so-called super power country is in such poor shape? All this money that was thrown at useless wars and stupid bailouts could have been used to do something really good and help keep America strong. Instead it was flushed down the toilet and the net result is that the outlook is even direr. Worse yet over 20 countries have far superior infrastructure, now that is a real slap in the face. It seems the basis for this super power status is simply big guns.
Jobs should be easy to get also right.
In 2013, 9.6 percent of families included an unemployed person, down from 10.5 percent in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of the nation’s 80.4 million families, 80.0 percent had at least one employed member in 2013. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/famee.pdf
A family, as defined by the BLS, is a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage. In 2013, there were 80,445,000 families in the United States and in 16,127,000—or 20 percent–no one had a job.
Let’s get this straight. We are in an economic recovery, the picture is rosy, all is well, but 20% of households do not have even one family member employed. What gives? What gives, is that it clearly shows you how the charlatans at the top are lying through their teeth, committing outright fraud and murder and doing this in the open. The top shadow players despise these antics and something will be done to deal with this deviation.
Thus one can conclude that unemployment is not dropping; the only thing dropping is the number of people currently looking for a job. The BLS uses a twisted formula which does not count someone who is unemployed if they stop looking for a job.
The employment population ratio is a great number for it provides some very interesting information. Based on the employment population ratio, the percentage of working age Americans that have a job has been below 59% for more than four years. In other words, 41% of working age Americans do not have a Job; Super power indeed. According to this article by CNN
About one-third of American households live “hand-to-mouth,” meaning that they spend all their paychecks. But what surprised the study authors is that 66% of these families are middle class, with a median income of $41,000. While they don’t have liquid assets, such as savings accounts or mutual fund holdings, they do have homes and retirement accounts, with a median net worth of $41,000. “We don’t expect them to be living paycheck to paycheck,” said Greg Kaplan, study co-author and assistant professor of economics at Princeton University. http://money.cnn.com/2014/04/25/news/economy/middle-class-paycheck/index.html?iid=HP_River
This means that if members of the middle class lose their job, they will have no savings to fall back on and will immediately join the ranks of the poor and destitute. Again, what world are these chumps holding positions in the government living in? Now you know why Russia and China are not only challenging the USA but they are also teaming up; they know the end is near. You cannot push other countries to the limit when internally everything is falling to pieces.
Health care should be top-notch
In terms of health care, the USA is close to the bottom of the barrel coming in at distant 37th.
Evidence that other countries perform better than the United States in ensuring the health of their populations is a sure prod to the reformist impulse. The World Health Report 2000, Health Systems: Improving Performance, ranked the U.S. health care system 37th in the world1 — a result that has been discussed often during the current debate on U.S. health care reform.
Despite the claim by many in the U.S. health policy community that international comparison is not useful because of the uniqueness of the United States, the rankings have figured prominently in many arenas. It is hard to ignore that in 2006, the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy.3 These facts have fueled a question now being discussed in academic circles, as well as by government and the public: Why do we spend so much to get so little? http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0910064
Education should be top notch
The US should be at the top when it comes to education but it seems that we are closer to the bottom then the top.Students in the United States made scant headway on recent global achievement exams and slipped deeper in the international rankings amid fast-growing competition abroad, according to test results released Tuesday. American teens scored below the international average in math and roughly average in science and reading, compared against dozens of other countries that participated in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which was administered last fall. Vietnam, which had its students take part in the exam for the first time, had a higher average score in math and science than the United States. Students in Shanghai — China’s largest city with upwards of 20 million people — ranked best in the world, according to the test results. Students in East Asian countries and provinces came out on top, nabbing seven of the top 10 places across all three subjects. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/us-teens-lag-global-education-rankings-asian-countries-rise-top-f2D11686930
The great USA of does not even make it to the top 10. It ranks 17th in reading and 21st in math; in math it could not even make it to the top 20. So exactly what does super power really mean? Our answer would take a whole update because we would focus on how the USA is far from a super power and more like a super beggar; like the naked emperor, the USA still thinks it’s slim, trim and wearing a fantastically expensive outfit, when in fact its bald, fat, ugly, naked and broke. And this is why for a very long time we stated the following
- that individuals with young children would do well to teach their children Chinese
- And secondly that real economic opportunity for decades to come will be mostly found in Asia and other developing nations, but Asia will lead the pack.
Quality of life should be very good.
New York, NY, June 16, 2014—Despite having the most expensive health care system, the United States ranks last overall among 11 industrialized countries on measures of health system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and healthy lives, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. The other countries included in the study were Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand Norway, Sweden Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. While there is room for improvement in every country, the U.S. stands out for having the highest costs and lowest performance—the U.S. spent $8,508 per person on health care in 2011, compared with $3,406 in the United Kingdom, which ranked first overall. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/press-releases/2014/jun/us-health-system-ranks-last
In terms of the happiest countries in the world, the USA is not in the top five and barely makes it in the top 10. It holds the number 10 position. http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mef45ejmi/10-united-states/ So again by several measures the USA is far from the top. Just because we have more weapons than most nations and because we spend the most on our military does not make us a true super power. This super power status is bought with money we do not have and spent on crap we really do not need. Once the strings to the purse are closed the military will collapse as was the case with the Soviet Union. Once the petrodollar is eliminated, all these channels of easy credit will come to a grinding halt. This is what Russia and China are working on and they are doing rather well so far. Thus while the press screams that the Russia is in the Dog house, the reality is that America is already in the Dog house; the problem is that most are too blind to see it yet.
If China is a paper dragon, then the USA is a paper cookie. Reality hurts and it will hit those least prepared the hardest.
This article summarizes some (but not all) of our sentiments rather well.
Well, yes. When it comes to violence and preparations for violence, the United States is, indeed, No. 1. In 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. government accounted for 37 percent of world military expenditures, putting it far ahead of all other nations. (The two closest competitors, China and Russia, accounted for 11 percent and 5 percent respectively.) From 2004 to 2013, the United States was also the No. 1 weapons exporter in the world. Moreover, given the U.S. government’s almost unbroken series of wars and acts of military intervention since 1941, it also seems likely that it surpasses all rivals when it comes to international violence.
This record is paralleled on the domestic front, where the United States has more guns and gun deaths than any other country. A study released in late 2013 reported that the United States had 88 guns for every 100 people, and 40 gun-related deaths for every 400,000 people―more than any of the 27 economically developed countries studied. By contrast, in Britain there were 6 guns per 100 people and 1 gun-related death per 400,000 people.
Yet, in a great many other areas, the United States is not No. 1 at all. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-wittner/the-united-states-is-no-1_b_5974516.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
In the end the data presented clearly indicates that the super power status is based on the assumption that the USA will be able to borrow unlimited amounts of money forever. This sadly is a delusion of the highest order. The only reason America has been able to pull this stunt off for so long is because of the petrodollar and additionally because all commodities are priced in dollars. This will end sooner than later. When it does the ability to print unlimited amounts of money will come to a grinding halt.
Other Articles of interest:
China; A Great Time To Buy (Oct 25)
Dollar Bull Still In Play (Oct 24)
Gold Approaching Critical Juncture (Sept 30)
A New Era In Trading (Jan 25, 2014)